Sunday, April 29, 2007
I was feeling a little discouraged about the dossier problems so I went baby shopping. :) I have tentatively picked out some bedding, but it is so hard to do since we're not sure if we're having a girl or boy, one or two! I was looking at Pottery Barn Kids, but couldn't decide on any that would be cute if we had one of each. I did find these at Target and they're pretty cute:
They are also somewhat inexpensive in case we do have two. I'm still stuck on what color to paint the room - I was thinking pale yellow, but now I'm unsure again. I'm still hung up on the boy/girl thing.
The main problem I'm having is picking a car seat. This weekend CHI had a class for adoptive parents and one of the things they covered was car seat safety. I had been told that the Britax was the best and was considering getting those, but someone spoke up about how the Britax did not fit well in all cars, notably the Subaru models. I drive a Subaru. Not to mention, they suggested getting one for each car so we wouldn't have to move them. Well, we might be getting two for each car and the Britax starts at $200. So, now I'm on the hunt again. If anyone out there has any advice - please let me know!!
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Today we received our fingerprint clearance in the mail!!
(Now I won't have to stalk the mailbox.) This is amazing because we had our fingerprints taken last Monday (4/16) and were told we could expect the results in about a month. Or... maybe in a week and a half! This was the last thing we were waiting for. I had planned on having all of our dossier paperwork certified by the Secretary of State before this came, but now I can have it done all at once.
- Meet with Erin on Friday to have her approve our dossier paperwork before I send it to the Secretary of State
- Take the paperwork to the Secretary of State's office for certification (This could take 1 day or could take a week)
- Send our dossier (via CHI courier) to the Department of State (in DC) and the Ethiopian Embassy. (This takes 1-2 weeks normally)
- CHI will then send our dossier off to Ethiopia where our in country representative will translate it and take it to the appropriate ministries.
- We wait for our referral and then we travel!!! (Please excuse excessive amounts of exclamation marks- I have a problem :)
And, after we received this good news today, we watched American Idol (that's right - I'm admitting it) and I cried through the whole thing. I'm still about to cry. It was extremely moving and they had raised at least $30 million and were still taking donations. Amazing.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
He deserves it! If it weren't for him, the lawn would not look so green, the dogs wouldn't get walked, the house wouldn't be as clean (I freely admit this), and dinner would always be boring. As my mom always says - He's a catch! :)
Oh, and today is Annie's 6th birthday (thanks to Petco for reminding us :). We celebrated with a new rope toy and liver-flavored mush filled Kongs for all the dogs. YUMMY.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
The timing of having our appointment on Monday was perfect because it just so happened that our agency was having an Ethiopian lunch for their staff and for any local families who could make it. We were the only family there (a lot live a bit further away) but it was great to meet other CHI staff and we were able to sit and talk during lunch with the agency's Executive Director Dwyatt Gantt. It was so great because he is very excited about the new Ethiopia program. He spoke to us about his visit there and about the exciting news that CHI has secured a foster home for the children that will be adopted by CHI families! He even got up to go print out some pictures of the home for us to take with us (which was SO nice!). I've been staring at those pictures because it is a real place in Ethiopia that we might visit, or a place that our children might even stay before we can get there! Our In-Country Coordinator in Addis is Tsegay and he has been working tirelessly to first acquire the license and now to set up this foster home for all of the CHI families' children. I cannot wait to meet him in person and thank him. We also got to spend some time with our Program Director, Sharon, and our SW, Erin, who are both equally excited about getting this program going. We are so fortunate to have our adoption, and our experience of becoming parents for the first time, surrounded by such supportive and caring people.
Okay... now that my ode to our agency is finished (I really do love it!), I'll end this (superlong) post by saying that things are moving along and we'll keep everyone posted (hah! pardon the pun).
I'd also like to add that Monday's lunch was also when we first learned of the horrific shooting at Virginia Tech. While our adoption generally keeps us distracted, our thoughts and prayers have been with the families of the victims from that day.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
We are just days away from securing $39.8 billion for the international affairs budget -- an increase of $3.9 billion over last year.
Six senators, Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Gordon Smith (R-OR), Christopher Dodd (D-CT), and Norm Coleman (R-MN), are taking the lead by writing a letter encouraging their colleagues in the Senate to support this critical funding.By clicking here , you can easily send an email to your senator to encourage them to sign the letter to ensure the increase goes through. I know many of us have viewed Bono's speech at the NAACP awards and wondered what we could do to help - well, this is a very simple way to support the campaign and to make your voice heard. Just thought I'd help spread the word.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
After the car seats, we moved on, with our new friend in tow, to the high chairs. Basically, that is where we stopped. Do we get the big one or the ones that strap into your chairs? What if we have two? What if we want to eat on the deck - do we want to drag two big high chairs outside? Aaagh! :) We turned in our scanning gun and were informed that we did quite well for the first time- we had 30 items and most people only get to 5 and then get overwhelmed. So, that made us feel better.
We got to the car and called Chrissy (mom of 4 and my friend for 20+ years) and informed her that we needed HELP! She and I are now planning our excursion and I think it will go much better this time.
Kevin & I are definitely the quintessential 'first time parents.'
(P.S. Just after I finished this, I went to our agency's Yahoo group and found that they have started a new group called CHI First Time Parents. Just in time! :)
Thursday, April 12, 2007
We have our fingerprint appointments next Monday and CIS in MO is running at about 4-6 weeks from the time we turned in the I600a, which would mean we could get approval back by early or mid-May. If we can have our dossier together by then, it will be sent along to the state departments and embassies, and then on to Ethiopia! Is it possible that we could get our referral and have our adoption go through the courts before they close?? And, can anyone tell me exactly when the courts do close? I'm a little lost on that one. I'm suddenly thinking that, just in cases (I'm quoting from the movie Love Actually for you grammar-hounds out there), we should pick a paint color and start registering!! Let me say this: we would be thrilled if we could bring our babe(s) home this summer, but just as thrilled if they come home next fall. I know this, just like the licensing, will happen all in God's time and I keep reminding myself that He has a plan. In the meantime, I'll start my breakfast of paperwork! EEK!
Monday, April 9, 2007
I guess my point is that I'm grateful for everyone out there sharing their stories. I can't even express how much it means to me that I've found such a welcoming community here on the Internet! I never thought I'd have a blog - but now I'm so glad we do.
Also - two families on the list of blogs I read recently got their referrals - Finding Baby G and Ethiopia or Bust. I highly recommend going to take a peek at their beautiful new baby boys. It will remind you that adoption truly is a miracle! And, if I haven't mentioned it before, be sure to watch the video on the blog Raising Lucy. Be warned - it makes me cry every time! (You'll have to scroll down a bit and it is on the left side.)
Thursday, April 5, 2007
That's right - our agency is officially licensed in Ethiopia! We are so excited - I've been in a fog all day, dreaming of our babies.
If you're dying to ask me, "How long?" I don't really have a clear answer, but things are definitely going to start moving along now. We are awaiting our fingerprinting appointment and after that we'll wait for the 171 form (which I think is clearance for our fingerprints), and we'll get the paperwork together for our dossier. Once we have all of that together, we'll submit it to the Ethiopian government and then wait for a referral! YAY!!
P.S. This is how I think things are supposed to go with the dossier - if anyone who has gone before us has any words of wisdom - I'd really appreciate it! Thanks!
Monday, April 2, 2007
Sunday, April 1, 2007
Friday night - Ethiopian food at Meskerem (more on this later)
Saturday - matinee - Blades of Glory (very funny), then the Ohio State basketball game (they won- on to the championship game!)
Sunday - church with my friend Chryssi and her daughter Emma and brunch at one of my favorite places (vegetarian biscuits & gravy - yum!), I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in the sun reading There is No Me Without You (I don' t have to say it, but I LOVE this book - I can't put it down), and tonight we're going down the street for hot-dogs and the opening day baseball game on the tv (outside on the patio).
On Meskerem - my mom (Grandma/Mimi), Kevin & I went to the new Ethiopian restaurant in town. It was so great- the food was wonderful - it was just like I remembered from the Ethiopian restaurant in Tucson and I didn't want to stop eating. We had two combo platters, so I cannot remember the names, but my favorite was the chickpeas. Kevin's favorite was the yellow lentils. He did not like the lamb - he hates lamb and I had no idea I had even ordered it - I took a big bite (I don't eat lamb) and said, "YUM!" so he took a big bite and was distraught. As a chef, he has tried a lot of different foods, but does not like (read- HATES) only two things - lamb & goat cheese. He got over it and enjoyed all of the other dishes.
The best part of the night was the owner - he came to our table and we told him we were adopting from Ethiopia and he stayed and talked to us for a long time about Addis Ababa and what we could expect. We promised we'd be back when we got our referral so we could show him the pictures (if not before then). Our server was also from Ethiopia and she offered to write down her family's address so we could visit them while we were there. That was surprising to us as Americans b/c not many people here would do that having just met someone. We told her we weren't sure when we were going but that we'd be back before we went. We left so happy to have such a great experience - I already know this will be a place we can take our children! Now if Kevin could only learn to cook injera... :)
Sorry - no pictures this time - I tried to post a picture of "twin" tulips I took with my cell phone (there are two tulip blooms on one stem!) b/c it made me smile, but I am not that tech. advanced. Maybe next time!
Continue with prayers for licensing!!